Homily for Saturday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Cost of discipleship
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Saturday September 28 2019
(Mt. 8:18-22) Saturday of the Twenty Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Memorial of San Lorenzo Ruiz De Manila, Filipino Saint
In today’s Gospel, Feast of the Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, Filipino martyr and his companions, Jesus reveals the cost of discipleship. It means getting the dead bury its dead, not needing to say goodbye to families, no time to look back once you join, and living a life like a homeless. In other words, discipleship is full of pains, urgency, and sacrifices. At a certain point, one maybe “graced” with the opportunity to offer one’s life for the faith. Martyrdom is a grace which every disciple should be willing to accept at the opportune time.
St. Lorenzo Ruiz never thought nor intended to become a martyr. As a catechist, he sought holiness and faithfulness to God. He joined the mission to Japan in response to the call to preach the Gospels. In the process, together with others, they faced death in the mission. St Lorenzo and his companions realized there is no turning back. It was either surviving by renouncing the faith or die professing the faith. St. Lorenzo found a way to proclaim, “If I had a thousand lives, I will give it all to God.”
Martyrdom is grace, a vocation. We will not immediately know if we are called to it. When the situation comes, God will give us the race to accept it. We will still be free to decide whether to accept or reject it. Our natural reaction is to survive. Death is always feared. But death for the faith is different. The Christian puts his faith before his life. “Truly, truly, I say to you unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Death does not end things. We have known a lot who died for what they believed and their spirit and words continue to affect human lives. Gandhi, Thomas More, and Ninoy, to name a few. Of course, the greatest of them all is the Lord Jesus Christ. Eliminating the medium does not necessarily eliminate the message. In fact, the more the message is heard loud.
We are proud of St. Lorenzo. Before his canonisation, many Filipinos, and maybe other nationalities, thought that a Filipino can never be a saint. St. Lorenzo proved us and them wrong. In fact, we now have a second one in St. Pedro Calungsod. It is just sad that both saints seem not to be popular among Filipinos. It is about time to cultivate the messages of their lives and believe that the Filipino Catholic can be a saint. We have a lot of qualities worthy of being a saint. We have weaknesses too going against us. All in all, Sts. Lorenzo and Pedro made it. Kaya din natin!